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mother's day- with kids of course

Are you thinking brunch, lunch, or dinner? I'm thinking Yum! in St. Louis Park, but I guess that's maybe western suburbs (even though it's close to Mpls). That would work for a meal any time of day.

Apr 27, 2015
baa in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Week in Escondido/San Diego

To be clear--no one came by the table, they were walking around studiously avoiding contact (eye or otherwise) with our table, so we didn't have a chance to ask for more chips. I could have gotten up and tracked down a waiter, yes, but that is not something I ever expect to have to do at a restaurant.

I'm no martyr. I'm comfortable asking for what I need/want, and have never had an issue asking for many many baskets of chips. I do expect a certain level of basic service, and I didn't get it. I *wanted* to like this place, I really did--you'll note I went there TWICE in my seven night stay in the area.

I get that you like the place and haven't experienced this. My experiences were much more limited than yours, but they were not good. I think we'll have to agree to disagree about HdV.

Apr 06, 2015
baa in San Diego

Week in Escondido/San Diego

Hmmm, maybe I wasn't clear. We weren't there for 1.5 hours, it was that long (at least) from the time we were seated until the time the adults got their food. We didn't ask why it was taking so long because our server didn't really check in with us after our first round of drinks was served. So we sat there with empty chip baskets as the servers walked around. But in my opinion, it's really not up to the customer to ask why things are taking so long--it seems like a pretty basic part of running a restaurant to try to make sure your guests aren't waiting an inordinately long time for food, and if the wait IS long, offering an explanation (at the very least).

I've eaten out with kids a LOT, and of course I expect and am happy when the kid food comes out first. (As it did at HdV.) But I'm not happy when it takes 45 minutes for that food to come out--and this is cheese quesadillas and chicken fingers for heaven's sake, they're not preparing souffles back there. The adults were kept waiting not five-ten more minutes, but more like 25-35 minutes. That's 25 minutes AFTER the kid food came out, not 25 minutes after we ordered it.

So yeah, there may be two sides to this story, like maybe everyone in the kitchen was suddenly stricken with illness and had to leave, but no one at HdV shared their side of the story, even after it was clear that we were not happy, and even after one person had to leave the restaurant before eating anything. It was a really negative experience, and I would never go back or advise anyone else to go there.

Apr 06, 2015
baa in San Diego

Week in Escondido/San Diego

Thanks again for all the suggestions. For various (well, mainly kid-related) reasons, I didn't get to nearly as much chow-ish eating as I'd hoped, but my sister and I are already making plans for a return trip with no little ones to hold us back.

Here's my brief report:

Went to Hacienda de Vega with a party of six the first night (including two kids). It was Saturday, we didn't have a reservation (mistake!), and we were told it would be a 45 minute wait. So we waited, sampled chips and salsa, had some drinks, and the kids ran around. After an hour, I went to check on things, and was told that they just seated two parties of six, so once those parties were done, we could be seated. Really frustrating. We ended up ordering a few appetizers in the bar area, and all left kind of crabby but chalked it all up to our failure to plan ahead and make a res.

Playing with fire, we tried H de V again the next night, this time with our full party of 14, but with a reservation (hooray!). Things did not go well. We got seated right away, then waited to order drinks. Then waited to order food. Then waited and waited an waited for our food. The kids food came out maybe 45 minutes after we ordered it. The adult food (ordered at the same time as the kid food) took more like an hour and ten minutes. We were never given any explanation for the wait time, and this time 14 people were really crabby by the time we left. One person had leave before she even got her food. Short version of this is I will definitely not ever go back to this place.

EscoGelato--loved it! Happy times. Went with just me and 4 kids. Everyone happy.

Manna Korean BBQ--tried this with all 14 of us again, and this was a hit. None of us had had Korean BBQ before, but everyone had a good time with the possible exception of a couple little ones who refused to eat anything (I'm side-eyeing my 4 y.o. right now.)

Pepper Tree--fun for ice cream (in Vista I think). Would have liked to have tried their burgers. Liked the feel of this place, loved my chocolate peanut butter shake.

Oceanside Broiler--by the bay in Oceanside. We sat in the bar and had mostly happy hour food (and kids meals), but it was a good (if not chow-ish) experience. Really nice staff, and the kids fish and chips was actually really good. Fun to watch the sea lions (or seals??), see the boats in the harbor.

Peterson's Donuts--went twice, loved it. The first day we got mostly raised donuts, the second time almost all cake donuts. I preferred the cake. I would go here again in a heartbeat.

Bobboi--I didn't get to go here, but my sister and family did, and they loved it.

I'm keeping the list and all of the recommendations for my next (hopefully not far away) visit.

Apr 06, 2015
baa in San Diego

Week in Escondido/San Diego

Thank you all so much! This is great, and I have to say I'm particularly excited about the gelato shop--we are a family of ice cream (and related food product) lovers.

Mar 25, 2015
baa in San Diego

Week in Escondido/San Diego

Hello. My extended family and I (all from MN) will be staying at the Welk resort in Escondido for a week at the end of the month. I've done some reviewing of this board looking for mostly family-friendly stuff that also has good food, both closer to the resort and in San Diego/near a beach. There will also be a few date nights without kids, so we're also looking for something bit more adventurous for a dinner or two. We will have 14 people total, but we don't need to all eat together all the time.

Below are the places we're thinking about hitting--would love opinions about whether we're on the right track, or if there's anything else that should make our list. Thanks in advance for any and all assistance! Regardless of food, we're excited to get out of the snow and visit your lovely area.

Hacienda de Vega
Peterson's Donuts
Bellamy's, maybe date night?
Sand Crab
Bellows Woodfire Grill
Wooden Spoon
Roma Market (Maybe for takeout)
Fish House Veracruz (San Marcos)
Carmela Cucina (San Marcos)
San Marcos Brewery
Curry & More (San Marcos)
Los Charros (Escondido)
Point Loma (San Diego)
JRDN (San Diego)
Kitchen 4140 (San Diego)
Pearl (San Diego)

Mar 23, 2015
baa in San Diego

ISO date night spots

We've done a couple date nights at Lake & Irving in Uptown, and I've really enjoyed it. Not super loud, tasty food and good drinks. I don't know that they have any "date night" deals, but I thought the prices were reasonable for the quality of the food. Have never seen kids there, and it's about the same level as Broder's on casual level.

Jan 26, 2015
baa in Minneapolis-St. Paul

dinner mpls sat nigt

I would try Sapor. Quiet, tasty food, pretty room, not far from Nicollet Island Inn.

Dec 01, 2014
baa in Minneapolis-St. Paul

I can't believe anyone hasn't posted about #grapegate yet

I think "anger" is way too strong. The reactions I've seen have been, in most cases, pretty funny, mostly bemused/incredulous that the NYT came up with such a ridiculous pick for something that supposedly "evokes" Minnesota Thanksgiving. I don't think it's insecurity, I think it's eyerolling about an apparent lack of any interest in finding out what a reasonable number of actual Minnesotans would have on their Thanksgiving table.

Nov 20, 2014
baa in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Best Cinnamon Rolls

I love Isles Bun cinnamon rolls--you can put as much cream cheese icing on them as you want, and they're fresh and huge--but it's not at all convenient to the New Brighton area. I've got no better options for you, but just want you to be aware that if you head down to Isles Bun, it'll be a bit of a trek.

Sep 30, 2014
baa in Minneapolis-St. Paul


I completely agree on Parlour. I crave that burger.

Sep 18, 2014
baa in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Best New Must Dine Digs?

I've only been to Lagos Tacos one time, and it was a month or two ago now, but I was pleasantly surprised. I wasn't expecting much, since it seemed like they could easily just cater to a young crowd that doesn't necessarily care about food quality all that much, but the appetizers I had were really good, and I liked my margarita. We sat at an outdoorish bar area, and that was quite nice, as well. I would go back any time.

Aug 27, 2014
baa in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Parents 50th anniversary

For parents that are foodies, and with no budget, I would choose La Belle Vie. The dining room is pretty quiet, which is helpful if anyone has lost any hearing over the years. I haven't been, but Brasserie Zentral seems to be getting good buzz.

Aug 04, 2014
baa in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Quick! Where should we have date-night dinner tonight?

I know it's too late, but for a future date night, consider Lake and Irving in Minneapolis. I've been there twice now, and really enjoyed both times (once with just my husband, once with a group of friends). Beer, wine, and some cocktails, including a margarita that had some interesting stuff on the rim--sweet, but really delicious. They also have some interesting appetizers, including a variation on corn nuts that we ended up ordering three of because they were really addictive.

Jul 28, 2014
baa in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Fresh(ly) made pork stock?

Clancey's usually has a few different kinds of stock in their freezer case (so maybe that doesn't count as "fresh," but it is made in-house).

Jul 16, 2014
baa in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Dinner suggestions for pre & post-3Day 60-mile walk

Agree that Ciao Bella is best for food/drink in the area, but it's over a mile away from the hotel. So yes walking distance, but not a short walk.

Jul 16, 2014
baa in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Dinner suggestions for pre & post-3Day 60-mile walk

I second the Parlour/Borough recommendation for Sunday--Parlour has, in my opinion, the best burger in town. I don't even remember if they had veg options because I've only ordered the burger (and some great cocktails). Another option that would be either a cab or a Nice Ride bike ride (or walk if you anyone can still stand the idea of walking) is the La Belle Vie lounge--great cocktails, beautiful room, great food. It's the casual part of the very fine dining La Bell Vie.

Jul 16, 2014
baa in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Dinner suggestions for pre & post-3Day 60-mile walk

The Westin Edina is in the Galleria I believe. There are few restaurants in the Galleria, but the ones that I've been to there are only average (though I haven't tried the steakhouse there). There's not a lot in walking distance I'm afraid, other than Tavern on France, which is also kind of average food but might work. You could cab it down to the 50th and France area--I would say best bet there might be Barrio or Edina Grill. Neither are out of this world, but I think both are pretty good.

Jul 15, 2014
baa in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Kid Friendly, good restaurants in the area?

Hmmm, I haven't been, but Ngon Bistro might be right up your alley--in St. Paul, and apparently kid-friendly.

I'm not sure I would take my kids (5 and 3) to Borough, but I probably would take them to the bar downstairs (Parlour) if it was early enough, and Parlour has, in my opinion, the best burger in Minneapolis--super simple and really delicious.

Bar La Grassa or 112 Eatery might be better options with kids. I don't know about kid's menus/booster seats at either place, but both are pretty loud and kids would be unlikely to disturb others. Also in that general neighborhood is Sapor, which has been pretty kid-friendly in my experience, even though it's a quieter place.

Sea Salt Eatery (in Minnehaha Park) is NOT fine dining--it's outdoor park dining--but if one of you can take the kids to go play in the park/look at the waterfall while the other one stands in line to order food, that can be a great spot with kids, and the food is really good. This works better if your kids will eat seafood.

There are lots of others I'm forgetting, but I'm sure others will weigh in.

Jul 09, 2014
baa in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Kid Friendly, good restaurants in the area?

How old are the kids, and what suburb will you be in? That might help narrow it down a bit. A couple I would think about would be Tilia in Linden Hills, which is great food and has a cute kid menu and little toy boxes for kids to play with. They don't take reservations though, so going earlier or for brunch might be good.

We take our kids to Punch Pizza a lot. There are a lot of locations now--we go to the one near Lake Calhoun, but I think they're all plenty kid friendly. Pizzas come out fast, and I love them (but there is some difference of opinion on whether they are "too soggy"). Pizzeria Lola is another delicious pizza spot in SW Minneapolis--but it can be hard to get a table at peak times.

Can't tell you about Butcher and the Boar because I haven't been. Others can inform you better about the Asian food options, but I think virtually all of the Asian spots in town are likely to be kid friendly.

It might be useful if you told us where YOU want to go, and we could weigh in on kid-friendliness or not.

Jul 09, 2014
baa in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Need a restaurant for Monday, June 30

La Belle Vie lounge (I count the lamb burgers as comfort food, and they have delicious fries and potato chips). Or Parlour, for their fantastic burger and really good drinks. Not sure if that counts as too close to Twins or not.

Jun 26, 2014
baa in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Hot beef sandwich

Wally's in Bloomington. I always get the French Dip, but they have a "blue plate special" that seems like what you're looking for. Not *totally* sure if they use real potatoes (since I've never ordered it), but might be worth a shot because the roast beef is delicious. And it's cheap. Only open M-Sat. until 3.

Jun 12, 2014
baa in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Happy Hour places with relaxing ambience and a plethora of low carb foods

I love the appetizers and drinks at the La Belle Vie lounge. My favorites might not work for you though, though I'm not sure how fries fit into the low-carb thing. They have great lamb burgers (which I assume you could do without the bun) and the fries and potato chips are delicous. They also have a nice cheese plate and a salumi plate that I've never tried but bet would be good. I've also not tried the frog legs, but that might fit your needs. The room itself is beautiful, relaxing, not loud, but feels lively to me. I don't think the prices are outrageous, but I don't think they have any "happy hour" pricing. https://www.labellevie.us/assets/uplo...

May 15, 2014
baa in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Lake and Irving

Went to Lake and Irving last night, and had a very nice evening. No wait for a table, but restaurant was fairly busy. Had an app of pork and gruyere (I think--some kind of cheese) arancini that I thought was delicious. My date and I both really enjoyed main dishes. Date had a salmon salad that he said was delicious. I had a shrimp spinach salad, which I got as a half-size, an option that I was happy about because I wanted to try another entree, too. My other entree was a crab-encrusted fish, and while it wasn't what I would call "encrusted" (it was more like topped with a crab mix), it was delicious. And they have two portion sizes for this and several other entrees, which again I really appreciated, because I could eat both the half salad and the half fish and feel like I got the right amount of food with out totally overspending. I thought prices were reasonable, and the food was really good. Also liked that they brought out large bottles of tap water and sparkling water and left them both at the table. Bread is $1, and we ordered that, but never got it (and were not not charged for it), so can't report on that. Service was a little uneven (in addition to the forgotten bread, server forgot my glass of wine until I reminded him), but was friendly and non-obtrusive. We'll go back.

May 08, 2014
baa in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Delivery to Crofton?

Hi there. I'm hoping to send a dinner to some friends going through a tough time. I know of a few places in Crofton that deliver (Fusia, Hunan Express, Vince's Tasty Creations). I'm not in the area and don't know anything about any of those places, or if there might be better options. Does anyone have any suggestions? (I'm hoping to do this for tonight, but will likely be doing this in the future, too, so any thoughts are welcome.)

Mar 12, 2014
baa in Washington DC & Baltimore

Need Advice Selecting Fine Dining for Bachelor Party

Maybe consider the Strip Club in St. Paul? (It's not a strip club.) Otherwise La Belle Vie is great--and yes they do have a full bar and extensive wine list. The head bartender there is very creative and the cocktails are excellent IMO. Actually, the bartenders at the Strip Club are also very creative and well-respected, too. Have a lovely time!


Last Sunday in the early evening there was no wait (I think it was around 5 or so). Mid-day should be pretty good. You can also give them your name and phone number if there's a wait and they'll call you, so you could walk around the little shopping area if you have any interest in that.

Dec 13, 2013
baa in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Duluth, MN 30th bifrthday bash ... need recommendations

Too bad CH moved this post--you're not likely to get nearly as much input here as you would if they would just let Duluth stay with MSP. Anyway, can you give more info on what you're looking for? How many people, if you want sit down dinner, if you want to go out dancing/drinking/etc? How fancy for food?

Oct 04, 2013
baa in Great Lakes

Dinner options

Lucia's is a great, often overlooked spot. Small menu that focuses on fresh and local--fall is a great time to eat there. I also love La Belle Vie's lounge for a casual dinner--or you can order the fancy food either in the main restaurant or in the lounge. The cocktails there are great. For both you'd want a reservation--Lucia's is pretty small, and La Belle Vie can be busy on weekend nights.

Oct 03, 2013
baa in Minneapolis-St. Paul

going to be staying near hotel minneapolis for work

Are you looking for casual, or sit down? Most of downtown is very walkable, if you have enough time. For casual, I would say to definitely try a food truck. Vellee Deli is often in the 2nd Ave/6th Street area, and is great. Hola Arepa is sometimes near there, too. If you wander over to 2nd Avenue South between 5th street and 7th Street (or Marquette Ave. between those same streets), you'll have a lot of options.

For sit down that's on the fancier side, I would walk (or take a Nice Ride bike) to Vincent, which is about 7 or 8 blocks away and has a great 3-course lunch option (at least they used to).

I'm sure if you have more specifics about how much time/money you want to spend, and what kind of food you're looking for, you'll get lots more options.

Avoid Restaurant Max, in the Hotel Minneapolis. Slow and not good.

Aug 20, 2013
baa in Minneapolis-St. Paul